Relatives and friends of the 17 victims of the shooting at a school in Parkland today filed a petition for a constitutional amendment in Florida to ban assault rifles, as preparations for the first anniversary of the tragedy that takes place on Thursday, February 14, advance. .
Students who survived the massacre and relatives of the 14 students and three adults who died went before the electoral authorities in Fort Lauderdale (Broward), north of Miami, with the first signatures of a total of 800,000 required for the change. constitutional in the elections of 2020.
The initiative coincides with the preparations for various events to remember the victims of Nikolas Cruz, then 18, that Valentine’s Day of 2018 killed 17 people with a semi-automatic rifle that he had legally purchased.
Some relatives and survivors of the shooting refuse to organize commemorative events for various reasons.
However, the Broward School District is scheduled for a minute of silence on Thursday and a vigil in the afternoon, among other community activities.
Students at the infamous Marjory Stoneman Douglas school are excused from attending classes on February 14 and 15.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack, 18, was murdered, said the anniversary “makes no sense” because every day for him is “February 14”.
“Every day I feel the same about losing my daughter,” he said.
David Hogg, one of the surviving students of the shooting, who is currently a gun control activist, was part of the group that delivered today the first 88,000 signatures aimed at banning “the sale of military-style weapons” in Florida.
Since the Parkland shooting, several school students from the tragedy school, including Hogg, have led a national campaign for gun control that included the massive “March for Our Lives” in Washington in March 2018.
They also mobilized voter registration to punish candidates receiving donations from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and pressured the Florida government, which passed a law in 2018 that, among other things, increases the minimum age to acquire a weapon from 18 to 21.
The law also imposes a three-day waiting period for most purchases of long-range weapons.
On the other hand, on Tuesday, a committee of the Florida Senate is also expected to analyze a bill that seeks to arm teachers and school personnel to respond to a shooting, an initiative that has been opposed by some civil groups such as Southern Poverty. Law Center (SPLC, in English).
“Florida must honor lost lives and show respect to those who survived by allocating tax dollars to promote real safety in public schools,” he said.
He urged the improvement of mental health services and the training of unarmed personnel in crisis management.
It is “harmful and dangerous measures in Florida schools … that would undermine the effective learning environments in our schools and threaten the well-being of students, families and educators,” he said.
In addition to the 17 deaths, another 17 people were injured in the Parkland massacre, the second largest in recent years after the one in 2016 at the Pulse club in Orlando, in central Florida, where Omar Mateen, of Afghan origin , killed 49 people with an assault rifle and an automatic pistol. (EFEUSA) .-